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Preventative Traffic Engineering

A new model of mobility is coming where the automobile is not the sole focus of transportation. We need to adapt and lead the way. A presentation from a traffic engineer about a multi-modal, pedestrian-friendly approach to transportation projects.

Prein & Newhof

on 8 June 2016

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Transcript of Preventative Traffic Engineering

Walkable Communities
Coming to your city.
Preventative Traffic Engineering:
A Must for Walkable Communities

Why Walkable?

Why Us?

Where we are

Where we need to be

How to lead the way

Case Study
Where we are:
The Traffic Study
Warrants: Where do they come from?
Where we need to be:
Leading the way to a safer community
Why Walkable?
1 in 7 Americans do not own a car
Walking encourages good health, decreases obesity
More walking trips = less vehicle miles traveled
Walkability makes downtowns vibrant
How we get there:
Every Detail Matters.

Standards can be flexible, really.

Look ahead.
Preventative Traffic Engineering - An Overview
Preventative Traffic Engineering:
A Must for Walkable Communities
Ariana Jeske, P.E.
Why us?
"...we need to realize that our image is hurting with concerned segments of the public. Simply put, there is a belief that practicing municipal traffic engineers are responsible for:
antiquated suburban development patterns
inflexible road design standards
the creation of a system that allows no room to adapt to the future"
ITE President's Message, November 2012
A new model of mobility is coming where the automobile is not the sole focus of transportation.

We need to adapt and lead the way.
The Traffic Study
Does it meet the Warrants?
Yes! - Carry on.
No - Now what?
Boxed in by Warrants
What if the facility doesn't exist?
Grand Valley Rail Trail
AADT 15,499 vehicles per day
Critical Pedestrian Gap - 16 seconds
100,000 expected yearly non-motorized users
Boxing out a lot of good guidance
Where do warrants come from?
Vehicle Warrants
Pedestrian Warrants
Detailed Research from 1970s
Consensus of Practicing Engineers
Not based on Level of Service or other performance indicators
Volumes are similar to vehicle volumes
Idea that pedestrians are treated as vehicles
Numbers use recent research
National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 562
Improving Pedestrian Safety at Unsignalized Crossings
A few thoughts...
Pedestrians vs. Vehicles
Preventative Traffic Engineering
The meaningful evaluation of a multi-modal mobility network to identify areas of increased risk and mitigating those risks.
Step 1: Recognize
Recognize that the pedestrian is a legitimate user of all public mobility systems - whether or not we design for them.
Step 2: Awareness
Be aware of the inherent vulnerability of pedestrians in our current transportation networks.
Step 3: Be Proactive
Evaluate designs before they become safety problems.
Every Detail Matters
Curb Radii

Road Width


Cycle Lengths

Parking Zones
Collect Pedestrian Data

Pavement Markings


Invite Bikes In
Standards can be flexible
Context-sensitive design
Use Multiple Sources
Engineering Judgement
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Guidance
Make the standards fit your projects, not the other way around.
Use all the books on your shelf
Look Internationally
Trust your instincts and prove them right
Proactive Approach
Projects should not just be a widening, or a pavement reconstruction, or one single facet
Evaluate safety problems
The data is out there
Make a plan to enhance walkability and pedestrian safety in the planning part of the project. Especially when the funding is there!
Questions? ajeske@preinnewhof.com
Pedestrians need 39% more time to cross a two-lane road than a car does.
Pedestrians are 10 times more likely to be fatally injured in a crash than a vehicle driver.
Full transcript